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Article:Patrick's Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Preview

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We're 24 hours away before the puck drops to begin the 2008 NHL Playoffs. Here in this forum, I will breakdown the match ups for the Eastern Conference and predict my winners for the first round.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

#1 Montreal Canadiens 47-25-10, 104 pts vs. #8 Boston Bruins 41-29-12, 94 pts

Head to head this year the Canadiens dominated winning all 8 meetings this season, but i think this series could be tough but only if the Bruins bring the physical game to the table which the Canadiens have been lacking this season, if the Bruins don't do that, it could be an early summer.
Sleeper Player for Montreal: Christopher Higgins
Sleeper Player for Boston: A healthy Patrice Bergeron

Prediction: Canadiens over Bruins in 6

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins 47-27-8, 102 pts vs. #7 Ottawa Senators 43-31-8, 94 pts

What a fall from grace for the Ottawa Senators and now they have crucial injuries to there captain Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher who could be out for the whole series. Scoring isn't the issue with the Sens. It's the goaltending and if they can't find away to work on that again, an early summer could come for the defending Eastern Conference champs, Pittsburgh may be the most complete team in the East and it will show... hopefully in the playoffs.

Sleeper Player for Pittsburgh: Jordan Staal
Sleeper Player for Ottawa: Antoine Vermette

Prediction: Penguins over Senators in 5

#3 Washington Capitals 43-31-8, 94 pts vs. #6 Philadelphia Flyers 42-29-11, 95 pts

Everyones 2nd favorite team these days and the NHL's Cinderella team in the Caps have been riding a streak that started all the way back in December, since the firing of Glen Hanlon the Caps have a 37-17-7 record and they want to keep it alive but a match up with Philadelphia could be tough the Flyers were one of the best teams early on but got cold but have picked up of late. In what could be the best series in the East, it will come down to who out hits the other.

Sleeper Player for Washington: Tomas Fleischmann
Sleeper Player for Philadelphia: Scottie Upshall

Prediction: Capitals over Flyers in 7

#4 New Jersey Devils 45-29-7, 99 pts vs. #5 New York Rangers 42-27-13, 97 pts

Well, these two teams are huge rivals and this series will be a physical 1-goal game type of series, the problem with the Devils is they have no scoring and out of the playoff teams only the Ducks have less goals for. As for the Rangers, they match up well in net and have better scoring. The Devils can pull this off is if they can obviously start scoring and act like the Devils of the past; that is, use there defense to overpower the Rangers and you know Marty will deliver in net.

Sleeper Player for New Jersey: Jamie Langenbrunner
Sleeper Player for New York: Petr Prucha

Prediction: Rangers over Devils in 7

I will do my Western Quarterfinals preview tomorrow before the first game

Thank you and feel free to edit and disagree and make your own predictions.

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